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Dill Pickle Spears

Hands-on time 50 mins
Total time 336 hrs
Yield Serves 40 (serving size: 4 spears)
Considering that the average supermarket dill pickle spears contain 313mg sodium each, these are downright saintly, with only 193mg in 4 spears.


  • 2 gallons water
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 40 pickling cucumbers, quartered lengthwise (about 8 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup mustard seeds
  • 24 fresh dill sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 1/2 quarts white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 15
  • fat 0.1 g
  • satfat 0.1 g
  • monofat 0.0 g
  • polyfat 0.0 g
  • protein 1 g
  • carbohydrate 4 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 193 mg
  • calcium 15 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine 2 gallons water and salt in a large container, stirring with a whisk until salt dissolves. Add cucumbers; let stand at room temperature for 12 hours.

  2. Place 2 teaspoons mustard seeds, 2 dill sprigs, and 1 garlic clove half in each of 12 (1-pint) hot sterilized jars. Drain cucumbers; divide among jars.

  3. Combine vinegar, 4 cups water, sugar, and pickling spice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes. Divide hot vinegar mixture evenly among jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover with metal lids; screw on bands.

  4. Process in boiling-water bath for 20 minutes. Remove jars from water bath; cool completely, and check for proper seal (see Note below). For best flavor, allow 2 weeks before eating. Store pickles in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

  5. Note: Remove jars from canner, placing on a towel. Let jars stand at room temperature 12 to 24 hours. Press center of each lid; lids should not flex or "pop." Remove bands; gently try to lift lid with gentle pressure. If lid stays on, you have a good seal.